This is a relatively new term. Coming up through the ranks of corporate training during the 80s and 90s, we just called it new employee training. Back then, software as a service (SaaS) wasn’t a thing, so we called new user training, um, new user training. Like I said, onboarding wasn’t invented back then. After all of these years of doing this kind of work, I can tell you it is exactly the same thing.

My role at work started off as new user onboarding specialist. My role at my last job was new user onboarding specialist. My role for dang near every job that I have had since 1986 has included onboarding, training or documentation. Turns out, it’s what I do.

I’ve since changed roles at work, focusing on eLearning creation, to help round out my skill set. Lot of content creation and helping others get the content the way it needs to be for effective training. Plus, a little bit of course creation thrown in on areas where I am the subject matter expert, or can play the subject matter expert on TV.

One of those, as it turns out, is new employee onboarding. I’m writing this a few days before the newly created onboarding program is rolled out, globally, to our entire company. At some point in history, someone came up with a self-directed learning plan that contained links to over 200 different training. The idea being that you find what you need and consume from this doc. Great, until this doc gets turned into New Employee Onboarding. Let me tell you, over 200 training materials that take about 25 hours to consume is not how you create a good onboarding program. To add to that, there was an instructor led course built into that learning plan, which was a live meeting with our VP of HR. Happens quarterly at about 1000. In France. That’s very early in the morning for anyone in NA, so they were unable to complete the learning plan.

So I put my research hat on and dug in. Over the course of 7 months I was able to develop a new onboarding system, following best practices. There was a lot of writing, testing and meetings, along with a whole bunch of production time developing the content required. I was able to develop a program that provides a sense of completion to the learner, give them some great knowledge about the company and what it does and a good idea about the culture. All in the span of 13 videos that take less than 30 minutes to consume.

I also said system. This new employee onboarding course is just step 1. Moving forward, I will be implementing a course for management about onboarding best practices and how to take advantage of the learning team at the company to help them realize their goals of better team onboarding, if required. I also have planned to work with HR staff on developing procedures for the in-person part of onboarding (getting equipment, setting up payroll, etc.) to make sure all new employees are having a consistent experience. I don’t think this will be 100% the same across countries, but we will do our best to get there.

It will be nice once this rolls out. I’m very excited about it and super happy with with the work that myself, along with many of my co-workers, have been able to accomplish!

Vehicle Shenanigans

This one should really come as no surprise to anyone that has been following me on the bird site for the past year and change. During that time, I allowed the angry bike part of twitter (which lines up nicely with the we hate suburbs part of twitter) to influence me. There is a lot of very interesting things out there in regards to micro-mobility, and I’m jumping into it with both feet, mostly.

Since this timeline started over 1,300 days ago, I have driven my car less that 5,000 miles a year. Go ahead and read that again. I did not miss a zero. The guy that crushes 50k warranties in 18 months, driving less than 5,000 miles in a year? Crazy, I know, but true. And, I don’t expect that to change much going forward for many reasons that I’m sure I’ll discuss later. Taking this new driving pattern into account, I’m struggling to find the justification for spending close to $800 per month for the convenience of having a car.

So, I’m going to sell the MINI. And, I’m going to replace my short trips with an electric bicycle.

I’m calling this an experiment. I live in Glendale, Arizona, which is as suburban as suburbs get. Which means it’s really not that easy to get around by foot or by bicycle. Knowing that, the bulk of my travels (doctors, gym, grocery store) can actually be completed, easily, by bicycle. And I have been talking to the city about the lack of good infrastructure for those not in cars, because why complain when you can actually do something about it.

Anyway, experiment. I will try to ride to work (40 miles round trip) and ride for my short trips around town for as long as possible. Do I think I will actually be successful? Nope. But I do think it’s worth trying and worth saving the money for a few months while I do.

This also means other changes happening to the donburnside.com family of sites. For sure, dbmini will be closing down. I have the domain for another year, and it’s been going longer than any of my other sites. Since I’m not going to be driving a MINI and will probably not drive another MINI, it’s time. It could also mean changes to White Roof Radio, but that’s a lot more complicated. Stay tuned.

Trying something new

I think I’ve mentioned somewhere that I’m cutting back on using Twitter and Facebook. To that end, I’ve started using Mastodon. I’m still not sure if it’s a good fit yet. That said, this post is acting as a test to see if it appears over there by subscribing to this blog.

Let’s go see what happened!

Don’t get the Covid

Dammit! I thought for sure I made it. Since 2019, hiding, wearing a mask, being careful. All that. Still, I walked through a sneeze or touched something I shouldn’t have and managed to catch Covid.

Covid is Real

Let’s start here: positive covid test

That is what a positive Covid test looks like. 2 stripes. In my case, both of them very solid in color and, oddly enough, both of them appeared almost immediately. Still, I waited the requisite 15 minutes and just as sure as God made little green apples, there I was with Covid.

For me, it started simply enough with a sore throat. That’s it. Easy. Sore throat for me usually turns into a head cold, which this also did, and I’m thinking this should be a piece of cake! Then, right about day 4, what some might call a flu kicked in and holy shit it was brutal! Fever of about 102, aches and pains beyond my normal set of aches and pains and where did all of my energy go? For the remainder of that week I don’t remember much because I was mostly sleeping. When I would wake up, I would change to a different room in the house so I could nap. This lasted about 4 days.

Fast forward to this post because the rest is just me sniffling, coughing, sneezing, napping and blowing my nose. By my guess, these shenanigans started 10/19 and officially ended with a negative test on 11/03. Here, 1 week later, I’m still not 100%. Somehow I managed to scrape up enough energy to help run a wedding on Saturday. Boy, let me tell you, that definitely emptied the tank and I’ve been struggling since.

On the plus side, I did stay out of the hospital, this never got into my chest and, obviously, I did not die. I thank my full vaccination card for that. In fact, this happened 1 week after my booster/flu shot. For the record, they are not related because the booster or the vaccine DO NOT give you the disease.

Stay safe out there, do what you can and get the vax.

Taking it back to ’05 ’03


I’ve all but completely broken up with Facebook at this point. I have broken it so badly that I only see posts from 3 or 4 people, maybe. And, since I only post photos, not even direcly, I guess I shouldn’t expect much, and I don’t. Everything has been ok hanging out at Twitter and Instagram for me anyway.

Until this week when Twitter went under new ownership. A big piece of that change of ownership was stopping practically all content moderation. Or, so it appears. That’s ok since my twitter has been nothing but angry politics, angry bicyclists and just angry people in general. I honestly don’t have the time to participant in that any longer. I keep catching myself doom scrolling and driving my anxiety higher and higher.

So, time to stop. Besides, with the midterm election next week, Twitter is going to turn into nothing more than ads for Democrats, Republicans and how each one is worse than the other because (insert this week’s reason here).

Time for me to get back to this. I have NetNewsWire on my iPhone (you should too) and I’m going to load it up with sites I like and other content that can be subscribed to via RSS.

Time to stop giving my attention to the socials. Time to put my attention back here where it might actually benefit me. I mean, hell, back in the day, I used to post almost every damned day. Not sure why I stopped, but it’s time I figure that out and get back to it.

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